You may not have realized it, but this past Wednesday, July 23rd, was “Batman Day.” It was a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in a comic book. I don’t know about you, but I grew up on Batman. I watched the cartoons, read the comic books, and watched all the movies. One of the things I love about superhero stories is the struggle between good and evil. In superhero stories, we know the good guy and we know the bad guy, and we know that ultimately the good guy will win in the end. It’s comforting, it’s safe, and it’s reliable.
Sometimes I find myself applying this “good guy” narrative to Jesus. I want Him to be the ultimate superhero who fights my battles and always wins. I want to see Jesus defeat evil, win the battle, and save the world. I want Him to bring me comfort and security. But Jesus isn’t just another superhero. Yes Jesus came to save the world, but He doesn’t do it by beating the bad guy, He does it by being beaten. He comes to us in the Gospels not as a conquering hero, but as a suffering servant. He doesn’t triumph over His enemies, but submits Himself to them like a lamb to the slaughter. He didn’t come to bring us comfort and security in this world, but to bring us into a Kingdom that is greater than this world. Following Christ isn’t safe and predictable like a comic book, it’s surprising and it involves suffering and sacrifice. But just like in the comics we know that the good guy will win in the end, that resurrection will come, and that makes all the difference.
“‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver; ‘don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
- C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe